Kickass and christmas memory



Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper is polishing up one of his favorite Christmas Eve memories and insists on sharing it: It is a bitter cold, clear night in northern Wisconsin as WW II festers around the globe.  The keeper and his younger sister and brother are in the back seat of a Model A Ford as it bounces along dark country roads on the way home from a traditional Norwegian Christmas  Eve celebration at Grandma and Grandpa Helgeland’s farm. There had been the dinner of hot, steaming dishes, including lutefisk, which the keeper remembers tasting and then opting for meat balls; and then there was the excitement of exchanging presents.  The keeper had made a dog-shaped wooden tie rack for his grandpa, who very seldom, if ever, wore a tie; and he had received a sturdy metal toy truck that would survive rough play for years.  It was very cold in the back seat of the old Ford, and the keeper and his siblings huddled under a heavy blanket. The stars seemed close and bright, and when the keeper’s mother made a comment about the possibility of seeing Santa’s sleigh hurtling across the sky, the keeper remembers thinking how much wiser he was than his younger brother and sister who obviously still believed in Santa.  The starry sky, the bouncy ride, the clean cold, the snow-banks along the road, the silhouettes of Mom and Dad in the front seats, all of it is still there in a priceless memory that somehow shines brighter with the years.

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